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SA stars for Berlin

Bound for Berlin… that’s the good news for 22 South African athletes who were named in Athletics South Africa’s provisional team to compete at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany on August 15-23.

The team┬á consists of 15 men and seven women and includes the six athletes who reached the IAAF A qualifying standards in the recent Yellow Pages Series and Yellow Pages national championships, as well as seven athletes who won gold medals at last year’s African Senior Championships in Ethiopia.

These seven athletes all reached the IAAF-B standard during the Yellow Pages meetings.

Young Caster Semenya, who has taken the athletics scene by storm in the women’s 800 metres this season (she currently heads the global rankings in this event with her 2:00.58 effort), has been included as an under-23 athlete who has reached the B-qualifying standard.

Several SA athletes will be competing in meetings in Europe in the next few weeks with the aim to qualify for the Championships. The cut-off date for qualification is   July 27 2009.

Five marathon runners, led by the experienced Hendrick Ramaala (fifth in the recent London Marathon), are included in the provisional team. Ramaala will be joined by SA champion Enos Matalane, Norman Dlomo, Johannes Kekana and Coolboy Ngamole.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Tanith Maxwell is the only woman marathon runner in the team.

The track and field team consists of experienced athletes and the likes of Khotso Mokoena, silver medal winner at last year’s Olympic Games, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, ranked amongst the top 800m runners in the world this year, Ruben Ramolefi and LJ van Zyl all have potential to do well at the Championships.

Athletics South Africa at the same also announced a team of 16 men and 10 women to participate in the Southern Region Senior Championships in Gaborone, Botswana. The championships will take place on May 30-31.

The championships will also serve as preparation for some of the provisional team members to the world championships and at the same time give other athletes a chance to still qualify for the World Championships.

Provisional SA team for IAAF World Championship

Men: Simon Magakwe, 100m (ACNW); Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, 800m (CGA); Ruben Ramolefi, 3000m Steeplechase (CGA); Khotso Mokoena, Long Jump (AGN); LJ van Zyl, 400mH (AGN); Chris Harmse, Hammer (AFS); Thuso Mpuang, 200m (AFS); Robert Oosthuizen, Javelin (BOL); Hannes Hopley, Discus (ANWN); Pieter Smith, 400m (AGN); Hendrick Ramaala, Marathon (CGN); Enos Matalane, Marathon (AGN); Norman Dlomo, Marathon (AVT); Johannes Kekana, Marathon (CGA); and Coolboy Ngamole, Marathon (CGA).

Women: Tsholofelo Thipe, 400m (ANWN); Janice Josephs, Long Jump (BOL); Sunette Viljoen, Javelin (ACNW); Isabel le Roux, 200m (AGN); Elizna Naude, Discus (AGN); Caster Semenya, 800m (AGN) and Tanith Maxwell, Marathon (KZNA).

CAA: Southern Region Championship Teams ÔÇô Botswana:

Men: Thuso Mpuang, 100m; 200m (AFS); Kagisho Kumbane, 100m (AFS); Hannes Dreyer, 100m (AGN); Thabo Mathibedi, 200m (ANWN); Rapula Sefenyatso 200m (ANWN); Ofentse Mogawane, 400m (AGN); Sibusiso Sishi, 400m (CGA); Andre Olivier, 800m (ACNW); Hezekiel Sepeng, 800m (ACNW); Samson Ngoepe, 800m (AMPU); Pharson Magagane, 1500m (LIMA); Tshamano Setone, 1500m (CGA); Olebogeng Masire, 5000m (ACNW); Boy Soke, 5000m (AFS); Sibusiso Nzima 5000m (CGA) and Tumelo Thagane, Triple Jump (ACNW).

Women: Nombulelo Mkenku, 100m (AFS); Isabel Le Roux, 200m (AGN); Janet Wienand, 400mH (BOL); Caster Semenya, 800m (AGN); Lebo Phalula, 1500m (CGA); Lebogang Phalula, 1500m (CGA); Tazmin Britz, Javelin (ACNW); Justine Robbeson, Javelin (ACNW); Christine Ras, 100mH (CGA); and Patience Ntshingila, Long Jump and Triple Jump (CGA).